Academic Catalog

Department of Public Safety

Department of Public Safety
Tanner-Turner Building
Telephone: (404) 880-8808

The mission of the Department of Public Safety is to safeguard and protect the life, liberty and security of the students, faculty, staff, constituents and the property of the University. The vision of Public Safety is to become a modern collaborative and interactive police agency dedicated to the concepts of student-centered campus community involvement and community policing by offering the highest quality of innovative crime prevention strategies and community services for our students, faculty, staff and constituents, resulting in increased confidence and quality of service.

The Department of Public Safety is a modern, progressive university agency offering the premier quality of innovative crime prevention strategies and community services for our constituents and strives to enhance and accomplish its mission by diligently embracing the student-centered approach to policing, to reduce criminal incidents and fear of crime.  The CAU's Police Department (CAUPD) is dedicated to the concepts of campus community involvement and service in order to perform its law enforcement functions and to conduct its day-to-day operations of policing the University with respect, professionalism and high ethical standards to maintain excellence and public confidence at all times.

The Public Safety Department consists of Police Officers and Public Safety Officers who patrol on foot and in vehicles providing for the safety of campus members and protection of University property, along with Communications Officers who monitor and provide surveillance of our entire campus through our video integrated center. The department works with our diverse community to improve the quality of life on campus deploys law enforcement strategies and techniques in a manner, which incorporates feedback from our stakeholders who have a vested interest in ensuring the safety and security of all our constituents. Students are expected to be knowledgeable of and to observe all rules designed to protect persons and property while on campus.

Although the University has implemented measures for the safety and protection of students and other members of the University community, the effectiveness of the measures depends on each person's assuming the responsibility for self-protection. Security measures that must be observed at all times include:

  • Carrying student I.D. card and presenting it upon request
  • Following the procedures for evacuation of residence buildings using panic doors
  • Observing the regulations governing conditions for residence hall visitation
  • Declining requests to transfer keys to unauthorized users
  • Keeping residence hall room doors locked
  • Attending crime prevention and safety awareness programs offered on campus.

CAUPD maintains an effective and responsive relationship with the community by fostering a campus-wide awareness for crime prevention and increased public safety. Officers conduct 24/7 directed watch patrols, respond to crimes in progress,  investigative and detective services, mitigate disputes and disruptions, conduct residential facility town hall meetings and safety training classes, maintain and direct emergency management functions, provide security for athletic events, and on-campus social activities, and provide valuable safety tips to the community.

Collaborative Interactive Policing Program is a student-centered approach to community/campus oriented policing created by the department to provide opportunities for students to offer positive contributions to the University and the Atlanta University Center community collectively. Through the Student Ambassadors Program, the department provides a positive experience for students by employing them to fulfill the specific duties and expectations outlined in the Public Safety Handbook. The process encompasses active engagement and implementation of suggestions from the students, faculty, and staff on positive solutions to existing criminal activity and criminal behavior on campus to effectively change our environment. The duties of Student Ambassadors include greeting, administrative support, and communication support while conducting themselves in a manner deserving of public trust.

Crime Reporting Equals Crime Prevention 

One of the most important actions that any student, faculty or staff member can take to prevent crime is to report all criminal incidents and or criminal activity to the Department of Public Safety. The Department is committed to transparency and notification by apprising the students, faculty and staff of the University’s on-campus crime statistics through the distribution of the annual “Your Right To Know” Campus Safety Statistical Data Report supporting the Clery Act Internal Policy. In addition, a crime log of reported incidents is available on the CAUPD webpage.

All crimes should be reported to Department of Public Safety immediately to ensure timely reporting and investigation of crimes. In order to alert the CAU community and to prevent similar crimes, the department will report incidents of the following crimes in a timely manner: aggravated assault, burglary, murder, sexual offenses (forcible and non-forcible), robbery, and motor vehicle thefts. A summary of the crimes reported will be published annually and distributed, free of charge, to students and employees and shall also be available on the department webpage. The department will respond to all criminal reports according to priority based on the immediate threat or danger to life, property, and safety. All reports will be responded to with either an immediate on-site response or an investigative procedure, as deemed appropriate.

On Campus Emergency: (404) 880-8911
Non-emergency: (404) 880-8623

Medical Emergencies: Shall be handled by the onsite infirmary or by using an ambulance service.

  • Fire Emergencies: Shall be responded to by the Atlanta Fire Department and Clark Atlanta University Police Department.
  • Police Emergencies: Shall be responded to by Clark Atlanta University Police Department and augmented by the Atlanta Police Department if the need arises. 

Lost and Found: The Department of Public Safety will hold lost items up to twenty-four (24) hours, after which, items will be delivered to the Office of Student Services and Campus Life for safe keeping. Student must be able to show proof of ownership in order to claim the item(s).

Campus Access                                                                                                                                                                             Access to Facilities and Security

Clark Atlanta University is a private institution with an open campus. All buildings are equipped with emergency lighting, exterior security lighting, ground floor security screens, fire and smoke alarms, and panic-bar type doors. All residence halls have self-closing mechanism doors that should prevent unauthorized persons from entering the buildings. The security measures are evaluated and maintained annually.

Assistant Directors for Residence Life and Student Development are responsible for maintaining the standard of residential life within their respective halls. Residence hall rules are regulated by the Assistant Directors who also reside in the dorms which provide them an opportunity to plan, coordinate, and implement safety measures working in conjunction with the Clark Atlanta Police Department in the following manner:

  1. Reporting strangers in their area
  2. Controlling and monitoring access to the buildings
  3. Advising safe off-campus practices
  4. Coordinating walk through inspections

Each on-campus student residing in residential halls are required to share in the responsibility for the security of their building. These requirements include:

  1. Following access control policies related to students and his/her visitor(s)
  2. Reporting lost access cards immediately to the Assistant Director and Public Safety representatives
  3. Preventing the duplication of residential room keys
  4. Reporting defective and inoperative access control devices and security equipment
  5. Avoiding “propping” the doors to residential, recreational and academic facilities open
  6. Displaying student identification cards and adhere to visitation rules

Visitation is a privilege, not a right, and therefore may be suspended by the Office of Student Services and Campus Life. Residential hall visitation hours vary throughout the week. The normal periods for visitation in the residence halls are 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Residence hall visitation hours are determined by the Office of Student Affairs. These hours are subject to change.

Building Access

All administrative and academic buildings are open during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) to those who require access. All non-resident buildings are locked down and/or opened by Public Safety personnel based upon the schedule of activity, with the exception of Harkness Hall, Thomas W. Cole, Jr., Research Center for Science and Technology and Park Street Music and Art Complex which are controlled by an access card system.

Most residence hall access is controlled by an access control card system (Panther Paw Card). The Panther Paw Office is responsible for data entry and card issuance procedures for this system. Residence hall rooms are accessed using a key system, which is controlled by the Office of Student Affairs and Residential Life. Residents are advised to keep their rooms locked at all times. For reasons of security, it is necessary for residents to carry their Panther Paw card and room key at all times. In the event residents are locked out of their rooms, it may be necessary for them to wait for a roommate, contact their Resident Director or the Facilities Department to gain entry into their room. Missing, lost or stolen, access cards and/or keys should be reported to the Department of Public Safety immediately. Door locks may be changed and new keys issued for a fee determined by Facilities Department. Keys are not to be loaned or duplicated.

Access Control and Parking

Vehicles entering and exiting the main campus are monitored by proactive patrolling. All vehicles parked on University property must have either an authorized parking permit or a vendor pass. Vehicles not displaying authorized permit or pass are encouraged to park in the University parking deck. Campus parking regulations are strictly enforced which includes warnings, traffic citations, booting and towing.